January 30, 2009

Dishing on the California Octuplets

Image Source: DListed
By now, I'm sure everyone has heard the story about the woman in California who gave birth to 8 screaming babies this week. Honestly, when I heard that, I thought first, this woman's uterus and vagina deserve a medal and secondly, she had better be checking her rearview mirror for Michelle Duggar's crazy ass.

So it turns out that this woman is only 33 years old and already has six children at home. All under the age of eight. As if that's not insane enough, she apparently filed for bankrutpcy last year and was forced to move back in with her parents, to their 3 bedroom home in Whittier. Yes, that's right. Three adults and six children, before this week, living in a 3 bedroom home. What are they going to do with the additional eight babies that will be coming home?

Conceiving eight babies naturally is practically unheard of, so we certainly don't need a medical specialist to confirm, or at least hint at, the fact this woman used some type of medical intervention. Like IVF.

What I want to know is, who paid for this? IVF isn't cheap. I have heard it's $10,000-$15,000 per pop. Not all insurance companies pay for this and I would doubt that a woman who is most likely unemployed and has filed bankruptcy can afford some of the more premium healthcare insurance plans.

And that's assuming that the IVF took on the first attempt, which isn't always likely.

As if that's not sketchy enough, I want to know what doctor made the supposedly medically sound and ethically correct decision to implant eight fertilized eggs in a 33 year old woman with six other children at home - - the youngest of whom are twins, at 2. Obviously this woman is fertile and appears to have little difficulty conceiving. What would the point be of medical intervention?

I think there needs to be an investigation of what went on here and at Kaiser. The taxpayers of the State of California deserve at least that - - since it has been reported that she already lives on welfare and state assistance. If true, what on earth is she doing getting pregnant again, whether it be a single birth or eight? Who is going to pay for the daily care and needs of the additional eight children she has brought into the world?

Let's hope a proper investigation is done and that a network like TLC doesn't show up with a reality show offer . . . which I believe is part of this woman's true motiviation. TLC and the general media has made minor celebrities out of Michelle Duggar and Jon and Kate Plus 8. The last thing we need is for more misguided and morally bankrupt people to bring children into this world for financial gain.

American Idol Does Louisville

Okay, so this is super, super late because of family stuff and the fact that a jackass co-worker gave me his nasty cold cooties, which kept me feeling puny all last weekend and Monday (a day that I chose to take off from work before I got sick). Anyhow, I am happy to report that apparently American Idol got my memo about 2 hours being bogus and no match for my Zyrtec because we are down to one hour. Idol is in Louisville, home to the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs and a whole bunch of people who want to tell you how to properly enunciate Louisville. No, it's not "Lewis-ville". It's not "Louey-ville". It's "Lewl-ville". It's a Southern thing. Trust.

I already have very little hope for this episode if it's an hour long and we must spend the first 10 minutes debating on the proper way to say Louisville. Get some good old Kentucky Bourbon and no one will care.

So here are the judges and Paula is decked out like a naughty librarian, with "serious" hornrimmed glasses, her hair pulled back messily and a high necked blouse. What the . . . ?

The first girl up is, in true Idol fashion, toast. Her name is Tiffany and she's about as annoying as I find her name. She tells the camera, before her audition, that if she doesn't make the cut, she's going to college. And she's perfectly fine with that. Which you know she won't be, so get ready for the meltdown. Tiffany is so bad, in fact, that Randy laughs out loud. A total Simon move. Simon doesn't even know what she sang. Do any of us? Simon suggests that college is a good idea for her and she should never, under any circumstance, choose a career in the music industry. She gets a unanimous "no" from the panel, goes outside and then immediately loses her shit. She complains about how she doesn't fit into the Idol mold - - no kidding, genius, they want people who can sing on key - - because she's not a nerd or a freak. I'm sensing this is a slight dig at my Cookie, who was a self-professed word nerd and any sympathy I may have had for Tiffany goes out the window. Get thee to your local community college, Tiff.

So the next girl up Kara recognizes. Apparently her name is Joanna something or the other and she was at A&M Records at one time. Oh fuck! Not another Carly Smithson situation. I am calling for disqualification right now because before I even hear this chick sing, I know she will be passed thru. Simon actually welcomes her to Idol, which he has never, ever done before in the history of this show - -another clue that she will be passed thru - - and she responds with a "thank you . . . I think." Ha! Was that a kick to Idol or what? Is this a step down from working with A&M? So Simon gets his panties in a bunch and asks what we are all secretly dying to know - - what happened with her record deal at A&M? Yes! Yes! So Joanna says nothing and Simon says something about it being everyone else's fault and this crazy chick agrees! I love this! So Joanna says she is going to sing "We Belong" and damn her, anyway, she's good. All the judges give her a pass, with Kara adding more than her usual "I like you! I really like you!" by sympathizing with how rough it's been for Joanna. Ummmm . . . okay.

Next up is some dude named Mark Mudd . . . yes, Mudd. His great, great, great, etc. grandfather was Samuel Mudd, the doctor who patched up John Wilkes Booth's leg after he shot Lincoln. Mark informs us that he's been in something like five car accidents, nearly died like five times. I'm thinking that this guy is a walking death trap and I wouldn't want to be within a file mile radius of him but he is just ignorant (or ig-nert as they say in the South) enough to think that makes him deep or at least very, very special. Mark hopes that his lifelong bad luck (and apparently that of his family) will change with his Idol audition. Uh oh. Not a good sign. Also not a good sign is what Mark is wearing - - chain wallet, cell phone in a holster around his waist, studded belt and a western shirt. Urban Cowboy returns! Mark is effing horrible. Looks like that Mudd family luck (or lack thereof) will hold. Paula, being Paula and generally living somewhere over the rainbow where it's all puppies and kittens and unicorns and Valium, instead of telling Mark he's horrible tells him that maybe this isn't the competition for him. Simon, being Simon and prone to shoot said puppies, kitties and unicorns, says "Like what? Wheel of Fortune?" Which would be funny except for the fact that I think not only would Wheel of Fortune probably be too taxing for Mark Mudd but that with his luck, he would probably get his arm stuck while spinning the wheel, dragging him from his contestant post and very nearly strangling him as the wheel made it's rotation, and thereby giving him a sixth cheat of death. So Mark gets a round of "nos" from the judges and he moseys off into the Lewl-ville sunset, but not before telling the panel to "take care" and "be careful". The judges immediately overreact and perceive it as a threat. They need to remember that Mark Mudd comes from a long line of people who are apparently not blessed with good luck and saying "be careful" is probably just as common to them as "How are you" and "See you" is to the judges. (Not to mention that his family can't very well say "Don't get yourself fucking killed.") So after some discussion over whether or not Mark's "be careful" is a threat, he is allowed to leave and Paula, somewhat seriously, proclaims that she is flying out of Lewl-ville that evening.

To offset the weirdness that was Mark Mudd, a dude named Brent Keith Smith is up next and he's a traveling musician. Assuming that he actually makes money as a traveling musician I would say this audition should be in the bag for him and it is. He's not mindblowingly good or bad - - although Simon thinks his song choice was ridiculous. So this causes an inter-panel fight between the judges and poor Brent Keith Smith looks about as confused as the rest of us feel. Is he in or out? Is schoolmarm Paula going to break up the children fighting? Is Simon arguing with Kara because he feels his HBIC position is threatened? Some of these questions may never be answered but we do find out that Brent Keith Smith gets a Golden Ticket!

Then comes a whole random bunch of truly bad people. Some weird chick who is singing an unbelievably horrid version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as if she's on helium. Honestly, I had no idea what she was singing until she got to the title of the song and I think even Paula, with her Vicodin and Vodka goggles is aghast. Some person named Obi-something or the other who may have been hitting the same helium container as the Rainbow chick. Really tall guy who is attempting to eyefuck the camera to distract from the fact that he can't sing. Weird guy wearing a pink belt that I just don't get. Rotund guy with a really large belly who is attempting to sing "Billie Jean" while performing Michael Jackson dance moves circa 1984. Ouch. Are there really people walking our earth who are so desperate to be on tv for 15-30 seconds that they will degrade themselves to this level? And why aren't we studying them further?

Next up is a dueling pianist. No, really. As a former piano player myself, I am inclined to like this guy - - until he says he self-taught himself about four years ago. Screw you, dude. Anyhow, he's pretty good and he tears up like a little girl when he gets his Golden Ticket.

It's one of the Geek Squad that Tiffany from the beginning of the show was harping on. Nice! This geek is named Ross and he is apparently a linguistics major. In fact, he's working on putting some kind of order into the Chinese language to help non-Chinese speakers learn it easier. I don't know about you, but I have no idea how he is accomplishing that and I think my head may explode if I think about it any further. I am not alone in this thought because, not surprisingly, Paula looks just as confused and uncomprehending. So Ross is not just the brainiac kind of Geek, he's also a Goofy Geek. Who thinks he can sing. Probably even scarier than imagining Ryan Seacrest's closet is Ross the Geek's singing voice. It is deep, deep, deep - - remember the guy last season who auditioned with an incredibly low version of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot"? This is what Ross the Geek sounds like while "singing". Paula offers Ross a sip of her (ahem) "water" because she thinks that may help his voice. Paula, darling, all the vodka and valium in the world isn't going to help. So Ross begins sipping right from Paula's straw!! Paula looks puzzled and then totally grossed out, while Ross not so helpfully informs that he has a Bachelor's Degree in Physics and made the Dean's List three times but apparently isn't smart enough to realize that you don't drink after someone you don't know. So he sings again and he's equally as horrible but Ross being the Goofy Geek he is, leaves happily minus a Golden Ticket. But not before singing a song to the camera about how he screwed up. Awesome!

So Day One in Lewl-ville wraps up with 10 Golden Tickets being handed out although we only saw like maybe 4 of these people because Idol tries to be all crafty by holding some things back, like we'll watch these people we didn't hear in Hollywood. And damn them, they're right. I will, at least. Is it just me or was there a disproportionate level of godawful people tonight

January 20, 2009

American Idol Does Kansas City

Okay, so I have to start first by apologizing that I missed the first 15 minutes or so of Night Two of Auditions from Hell because my TiVo decided to make a stand and refuse to tape Idol. I guess it didn't like what happened on Tuesday night. Anyhow.

We are in the hometown of Cookie! If you can find one redeemable thing about Kansas City, it is most definitely that this city spawned Cookie. And yes, The Wizard of Oz too. But most importantly, Cookie. I missed the first or second or maybe even third contestants. I don't think it matters though because we all know what happens to the first person. If you're uncertain, see my post from Phoenix.

The first contestant I see also gets a Golden Ticket. She's some chick who decides to sing a song that Simon allegedly helped to pen. Simon actually worked prior to American Idol? Wow, I just thought he was a snarky bitch his whole life. Anyway, it's called Footprints in the Sand and contestant chick makes the honest mistake of singing Footsteps in the Sand. Simon, naturally, must interrupt her singing - - which is quite good - - and bring this to her attention. Surprisingly, Paula doesn't make a rude comment about this. Or take a swig of whatever is in her Coke glass. Contestant chick begins singing, this time with the correct word, and aptly blows the judges away.

Cookie commercial! Cookie commercial!! This is the sole reason to watch these auditions, frankly - - unless you enjoy seeing people with minimal talent being embarrassed to the maximum extent. Once the regular season starts, of course, the reason to watch the show is to see what loopy shit comes out of Paula's mouth.

So we're back to auditions and for some reason, the next person shown actually gets a Golden Ticket. Whoa, Idol is shaking things up this year! They are not following standard audition show procedure. Even stranger: this girl's occupation is listed as a "bubble tea maker". What the hell is that? Girl is okay, nothing to get super excited over, so I'm guessing she is merely filler that will be attacked and destroyed once we get to Hollywood. Now Idol is back to formula. Brian something. Dressed all in black and a bit on the heavy-ish side, wearing an outfit that is completely inappropriate in every way. As soon as he says he is going to sing something by "Aretha", I know he's sunk. The judges know it too. He even offers up Josh Groban, after stating that he's been told he sounds like JG. To be polite, it's horrendous. All types of loud yelling and yelling that's not even in pitch. Poor Brian gives Simon his first knifing of the night - - telling him that not only is he a terrible singer, and to please never, ever sing again, but he's an awful dresser as well. Oh well, Simon isn't paid for his charm. Brian leaves in a huff, telling the cameraman not to follow him - - which of course the cameraguy does. So then we are treated to a nice little video montage of a variety of people who get the ax and react in all different sorts of ways. Crying, hugging family members who probably feel guilty as hell because they knew Fred couldn't sing for shit but didn't want to destroy Fred's dreams, and some random girl who is screaming and crying and throwing herself on the floor like she's been told that Ryan Seacrest is her long lost baby. Good Lord, woman, get a grip. Now if she did indeed find out Seacrest was a relative, that screaming would be understood. And for the record, she couldn't even scream in tune so I can just imagine what her singing was like. Cookie's parents! Awesome! Seacrest stops them on the street and asks them what they think about the auditions. Seriously? Can they please, please, please say "we don't give a shit and why should we? Our son won last year, you ass!" But no, they say something nice. Then Seacrest asks whether or not the next winner will be as good as Cookie or almost as good. What a stupid question, Ryan! NOBODY will reach the levels of awesome awesomeness that Cookie reached. NOBODY.

Okay, a whole bunch of random awfulness with auditions. Ugh. I think all these people either need to up their meds or return to the safety of their padded rooms. At the very least they need to get their ears checked because they cannot possibly be hearing what I am hearing and thinking they can seriously try out for American Idol.

Next possible contender is a dude who will be singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. This could be interesting. Jason Castro did it and I thought it was great last season, so let's see. Ummm . . . he is very loud. Very, very LOUD. If you're at all familiar with Scientology, you may think he is trying to revive someone from death. However, once I coax my cat out from under my bed where he has run for his life and unplug my ears, remarkably, the guy can actually carry a tune. He just needs to dial it down a notch. Or twenty. Simon looks like maybe he wants to slice and dice the guy and shockingly gives him a "yes". That Simon! So hard to read. Hopefully all the judges gave him some good "less is more" advice before he heads to Hollywood. Hey, at least the guy wouldn't need any microphones or sound systems to sing at the Hollywood Bowl.

Jason Castro! Jason Castro in the house! With his brother, Michael, who has short hair with a pink stripe in it. Hmmm . . . God love Jason but Michael seems about as on top of things as Jason did. Guess the doobie doesn't fall far from the tree in this family. So Seacrest attempts to interview him in the most lame of fashions, and then Michael and Jason argue about who is the most manly in the family. Uh-huh. During his audition, Michael informs the judges that he just started singing like 3 weeks ago. This sounds so Castro-ish. I'm telling you . . . not falling far from the tree and all. So Michael starts singing and he's surprisingly good. Especially for someone who just started singing. Simon thinks it's "good-ish" (a blazingly hot compliment from Simon when given to a Castro) and wonders if Michael takes this Idol nonsense as seriously as Jason did (meaning not at all). Kara - - for once saying more than "I like you!" - - tells Michael she likes this "I have a secret" vibe Michael gives off. Michael's reply? "Maybe I do. Maybe I don't even know I have a secret!" That sounds so much like Jason that Michael will immediately become one of my faves.

So then we're subjected to some strange guy who has a fascination with dressing in yellow and orange and singing about a banana and holding said banana. What the . . . . Big welder guy who is a devoted dad. Okay, he doesn't even need to sing. He's going to get a Ticket. He sings anyway - - "Ain't No Sunshine", which is a perfectly perfect choice for his voice. Randy says no. No??? What the fuck, Randy Jackson? I suppose if Welder Guy had shown up in a bikini, you would have said yes? Kara likes him, naturally and Paula agrees . . . leaving Welder Guy sweating over Simon's vote. As we all know, Simon could go either way. Astonishingly, Simon agrees with Paula and Kara and Welder Guy gets through. Screw you, Randy.

Some Jazz girl who goes by the name Jazz who can't sing. At all. More Kansas City people. More people fascinated with The Wizard of Oz. Filler, filler. Damn it, Idol, hurry up before my allergy pill kicks in again and I miss something like the blind guy from Phoenix. Which, by the way, I did catch and he is all sorts of awesome. Graduating from college at 19? Dancing? Playing piano? Notice though that Ryan Seacrest is such a douche that he attempts to high five a blind guy. Ryan, how the fuck do you think a blind man is going to know you are high five-ing him?? The levels of this man's stupidity literally know no bounds.

Next girl takes care of her 90-something year old grandma and chihuahua. Love her grandma, who points out the meds she's taking are her "crazy pills". How can you not love that? This girl is going to sing Janis Joplin. Whoa. That's a big order. Am immediately reminded of the chick from last season - - the nurse with the streak in her hair. What was her name? I can't remember and I'm too lazy to look it up but I imagine if this girl sounds anything like her, she will get a pass but then hit the wall fairly quickly. The girl actually sounds pretty darn good. She gets a deserved Ticket.

The Wonder Twins are next. Although they aren't twins and look nothing like them, they are rapping sisters. Really? Does anyone rap anymore? So they sing some song about cookies to Randy and all the judges love them for their personalities if not for their questionable rapping talent. Each sister sings individually and, as expected, only one gets the Ticket, although she is honestly not that good. I suppose there are slim pickings in Kansas City. However, the non-Ticket receiving sister has the grace of a saint and is delighted (at least publicly) that her sister made it.

Some dude sings "California Dreamin'" and gets a pass. Then his friend Danny is going to audition. And he almost didn't audition because the grief was so bad. We've actually been hearing about this on commercial breaks, with snippets about grief and how the doctor told him there was nothing else that could be done. I suppose Danny is tonight's Bikini Girl but with less cleavage and vapidness. Turns out that Danny wasn't dying, as the Idol producers hoped we'd think, but his wife died only a month before. Sadness. I am honestly stunned that the dying wife wasn't brought up in the audition room - - I guess that's an event even normally snarky Simon can't harp too much on. So he sings "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and he's great. He gets his Ticket, runs outside to share with his friend, brag to Ryan (because wouldn't you?) and then dedicate that Ticket to his beloved wife. Sniff.

Now we have some guy who says he can be called Noop Dawg. Really. He's from North Carolina and as Simon points out, he looks like he just came out of a meeting with Bill Gates. No, there isn't money shooting out of his ass, but he's wearing a nice little plaid shirt with chino-type shorts. He is going to sing us some Boyz II Men song I don't know but he sounds pretty good - - and nothing like his appearance. The judges are in consensus because they all seem stunned and blown away. Oh yes - - and "Noop Dawg" apparently wrote a thesis in college about BBQ. Look it up.

More sucky, freaky people. Man, there is no shortage of them in Kansas City. Even cheerleaders, who accompany some redheaded guy and cheer for him before he comes in. Interesting. But not successful enough to get a Ticket. Should've worn a bikini, guy. Another guy singing Michael Jackson, but he can actually do it and thus gets a Golden Ticket. And this is where my recap must end because, damn you, American Idol, 2 hours is simply too long to compete with allergy meds. I do think it was mentioned that 25 Golden Tickets were given out which is surprising given how many truly frightening people I saw. To be continued . . .

January 15, 2009

American Idol is Back!

American Idol is back. We are "treated" to a montage of previous seasons. Whoever put together this little intro is either Simon Cowell himself or someone who is desperately in love with Simon. Did they show Randy once? Didn't think so. Okay, we get that Clay Aiken won American Idol. I really don't need to see him more than once. Hey, there's Sanjaya! There's the girl who inexplicably bawled like a baby when Sanjaya appeared. I guess we know she wasn't hearing impaired, at least. Daughtry! That bitch Carrie Underwood. Jordin Sparks. Okay, so where is Phil Stacey? The discrimination continues. Where is Hot Michael from last season? Where is Jason Castro? WHERE IS COOKIE?? Okay, whew. There he is. Wow. Ryan Seacrest used to have some seriously jacked up (and frostily tipped) hair.

So American Idol is in Phoenix and it's hot. Not just hot but steaming, smoking blazing hot. 106 degrees, ya'll! See scenes of snakes, prairies, lizards, dirt and rocks. See large groups of Idol hopefuls, dying in the sun, while the judges pull up in their air conditioned limos complaining about the heat. Note to Simon: Please don't complain about your job, sweetheart. I heard you are getting somewhere in the neighborhood of $40-$50 million per SEASON. I would be willing to sweat my ass of in an air conditioned limo in Phoenix for that kind of cash. What am I saying? I'd be willing to sweat my ass off inside a sauna with a niacin smoothie personally handed to me by Tom Cruise for that kind of bank.

In case you've been in a coma since last season, or are hiding from your creditors, Idol has a new judge. Her name is Kara Disomething or the other and I wonder how long before she and Paula come to blows. Because it just has to happen.

Soooo . . . anyone who is even remotely familiar with American Idol knows that the very first contestant shown will get nowhere near a Golden Ticket. Poor boy has Gene Wilder doing Willy Wonka flyaway hair times ten. Easily. He knows he can cut that, right? So he apparently idolizes Michael Jackson and I think Britney Spears? Weird, weird combo. You know he's a goner. He's going to not only sing "The Way You Make Me Feel" but he's also going to do some tap routine in the middle. He's predictably bad, but an entertaining kind of bad not a godawful bad. And entertaining for us, because we can laugh and know we're not being exposed on television for millions to see. All 4 judges give him a big fat "NO", to which he looks crushed and confused. Really? Do none of these people try out for their friends? Are all of them being lied to? Big Hair taps off into the Phoenix (not quite) sunset, with TPTB inexplicably playing Wham's "Careless Whisper". I think if we figure out why we will also figure out what the hell is in Paula's Coke cup.

So the show pretty much follows formula and routine. Open with a bad audition, go to good audition, follow up with a bad one or two and then get a good one. We get the contractually required rocker chick, who is covered in tattoos, piercings, and multi-hued hair who claims that she got all these atrocities so she would not be forced to sit in an office and work. No problem there, chick. Oh, and nice cupcake tattoo on your neck. I shit you not, fellow gossipers. Contractually required rocker chick actually can sing pretty damn good and gets a Golden Ticket. She also has to inform the members of her band that she's ditching them and their lame ass European tour so she can be the next American! Idol! Simon basically calls her a selfish bitch for doing that but he can totally relate to being a selfish bitch so they should get along just fine.

So a faux rocker dude follows but you know he's going to get the boot because even Seacrest calls him a "delicate flower". Gag. However, it's all true. Rocker dude cries at the drop of a freakin' hat. He's crying during the waiting. He's crying as he practices. He cries when all 4 judges tell him he's a joke of a rocker and to get the fuck out of their audition room and quit wasting their time.

Then of course we have the high school student with a great voice who is trying out on Idol to help out his family or some such other shit that is supposed to make you feel bad for this kid and his family, desperate for him to get that Golden Ticket and bad because we're not 16 years old and supporting our entire family. Have no fear, he gets the Golden Ticket and his father starts crying, I'm sure, because he can see a David Archuleta like future ahead of his son. We also are subjected to a teen who is not only batshit crazy for thinking that he could possibly make the cut, but it so nervous he very nearly passes out and/or pukes on the judges. His voice is also all kinds of weird high pitched nonsense - - like someone trying to imitate a breathy Britney Spears while inhaling helium. I'm thinking that may not be a huge crowd pleaser. It certainly doesn't please the judges, who cut him. Crazy boy returns to the hallway, where he is administered a cold towel and a banana.

Then there are a whole bunch of really bad auditions before we get to a 16 year old who is attempting to out Mother Teresa Mother Teresa herself. This chick started a program for other teens to go and sing and socialize with the elderly and surprise, surprise, she has a great voice. She's also super bubbly and cute without being annoyingly so. Then we're told that's the end of day one, 9 Golden Tickets have been bestowed upon the grateful public, with quick shots of who got them. This is one part of the auditions that seriously bugs me. Who are some of these people? Couldn't they cut away from Big Hair Guy or Barf Boy long enough to let us at least listen to a bit of the ones who passed? Or how about less commercials? I know, novel concept.

So we're on Day Two and are greeted with the usual judges' grouchings and grumblings about how they hope Day Two is better and how difficult their jobs are (I'm looking at you, Simon). Yeah, thank God I don't have to sit in an air conditioned room for 2 days at a time in what? 6 cities, deciding which singers are most talented. Oh, and making millions of dollars for doing it. I just don't think I could handle the pressure. Thank God I went to school to sit in an office day after day, all year, in the same city, making nowhere near ONE million dollars and worrying about my financial future. This kind of stress and pressure I can handle.

So we get Very Deep Voice Guy who Paula informs should be doing voiceovers. As a monster. Thanks for playing, Paula. I'm sure he appreciates that. His voice really is scary though.

It turns out that Kara has a stalker. Welcome to the Idol family! Kara's stalker is a 16 year old girl who giggles and laughs continually and has a serious addiction with wearing ugly pink cowboy hats. She has written over 100 songs, which she is personally going to share with Kara. And does. Unfortunately she cannot sing, which Simon, in his naturally charming and tactful manner, is quick to point out. The other judges vote her off the island, but this chick appears to be happy just to have been that close to her idol, Kara.

The first Golden Ticket of Day Two goes to a girl with the name Stevie (after Stevie Nicks). She actually has a really good, soulful voice - - she does "At Last" without completing jacking it up. Surprise, surprise. We get a redneck guy next who works on oil rigs or some other such thing and he actually can sing. Wow. Simon is naturally surprised. He gets a Golden Ticket.

So by now I'm fighting to stay awake because this is pretty by the book. Since the show started, they have been teasing us with Bikini Girl, who appears to get into a verbal smackdown with Kara. They need to hurry up and bring this bitch on before I nod off. So she finally shows up and she's pretty much as vapid and vacant as you can imagine. She's also obviously demented as she claims that she and Ryan are going to have a baby together and once she gets her Golden Ticket, she's going to make out with Ryan. Correct me if you don't believe that Ryan is changing his name and fleeing the country. Simon, quite naturally, is all about her. So is Randy. She's not a terrible singer but she's certainly no better than a few people they turned away. Simon and Randy, of course, give her a "yes". Kara tries to issue some constructive criticism which Bikini Girl is having none of. She has probably never had a constructive thought in her life. When Kara tries to sing out an example, Bikini Girl has the nerve to suggest that she sang it better than Kara. Kara tells Bikini Bitch not to mess with her and Paula jumps up and immediately takes Kara's side. Both Paula and Kara give her a "no" but the guys have it.

So the next commercial break shows a blind guy who's going to audition and I really want to see that but my allergy pill has kicked in and off to Dreamland I go (Bikini Bitch and Simon-free, I must say).

January 9, 2009

Dr. Pepper is Trying to Take Over the World

Source: lalist.com

And it's starting with the new 90210.

I've heard of product placement, but sheesh. Isn't it a bad sign when you're more concerned with counting how many different Dr. Pepper signs are around than actually keeping up with what's going on with the show?

Anyhow . . . it's obvious that Dr. Pepper is a 90210 sponsor - - obviously their largest sponsor. Is it written in the contract that gratuitous scenes of Dr. Pepper signs and slogans must be shown in each and every episode? And if so, is 90210 required to show a certain number of signs?

Case in point: last episode. Dixon is working at the outdoor bar of the "new and improved" Peach Pit. (Where the hell is Nat?) Cheerleader Christina shows up, places a to-go order and in this brief scene, I note that each and every outside table has a Dr. Pepper placard on it; the outdoor bar is covered with them; the glasses on the outdoor bar are imprinted with Dr. Pepper slogans; there is a huge Dr. Pepper sign behind the outdoor bar; and the drink machine not only has a Dr. Pepper slogan on it, but two of the fountain drinks offered are Dr. Pepper.

When I lived in Southern California, I don't remember Dr. Pepper running so rampantly through the streets. Don't get me wrong - - I love Dr. Pepper but maybe "overkill" is something that needs to be explained to TPTB over on 90210.

So let's talk 90210 for a moment. There were no new episodes from about Thanksgiving until now. Talk was that the show was being overhauled and new scripts were being written by the honchos over at the successful Gossip Girl. If the newest episode was any indication of what's to come, color me disappointed. Where are the changes? The characters are still being given 2-3 minute scenes and plotlines are being conceived and then wrapped up so quickly, it's difficult to keep track. We were introduced to Sean, supposedly Harry and Tracy's biological son that was given up 20-so years ago right before the break. Now everyone knew that this Sean wasn't the real Sean, between his acting totally skittish, the fact that Harry accepted him into his home without a single iota of proof (like a paternity test) and the fact that Sean didn't inherit Tracy's wild bug eyes. So we come back from break to find out that Naomi has become best buds with her supposed long lost brother (another sign that this can't possibly be Sean), Tracy and Harry are about to fork over $200,000 to their "beloved son" for alleged gambling debts run up by Sean's adopted father and goody-goody Annie and mom Debbie are getting a bad vibe from Sean. Instead of the show investing in these potential storylines - - marital problems between Debbie and Harry because Debbie isn't invested in Sean, problems between Harry and Annie because Annie doesn't like or trust Sean, possibly romantic feelings developing between alleged brother and sister Sean and Naomi - - the show has Annie going all undercover like and finding out that Sean has been contacting the PI Tracy hired on a daily basis. When confronted, Sean agrees to a paternity test but then blows town (after taking $200K from Tracy). Whhhhaaaaattt? Bad enough that annoyingly perky Annie had to be the one to blow Sean's cover - - would have been much more gratifying and storyline-potential-ing for either Dixon as "the other son" to have done it, or Debbie as Harry's wife - - but why not wait until Sean had been involved more with the family? Why not have Sean appear to be Sean so the shock of him not being Sean would have actually been a shock?

And WTH happened to Brenda and Kelly? Kelly has gone right back to her St. Kelly days of the original show where she is condescending and can do no wrong. And Brenda . . . instead of breaking out the bitch lurking underneath, which she surely would have done back in the good old days, she merely hangs her head and apologizes?

So we find out that Adriana is pregnant (no surprise) and that Brenda supposedly cannot have children but she wants them. Show, please! Can't we have a single female character who is childless but okay with that? And what's with Adriana having an AIDS scare, but finding out in the same show she's not HIV positive but she is pregnant? Slow down!

I am getting dangerously close to canceling my TiVo on this show. Make fun of the original Beverly Hills 90210 all you want, but at least they understood character development. And they didn't attempt to throw two years' worth of storylines at the audience all in the first couple of months.

Note to producers: Kelly and Brenda are seeming more and more every week like stunt casting. If you wrote them into the show, use them properly. Give them something to do, besides Kelly preaching and Brenda groveling. Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth can be phenomenal together. Bring back Nat. He is the heart and soul of the Peach Pit. Put some chemistry into Dixon and Silver, or break them up. Annie is boring and completely unrelatable. Overhaul her or ship her off. Naomi is overwritten or over the top. Tone the actress down and eliminate as many crying scenes with her as possible - - she's a freakishly ugly crier. Feature Adriana more. Don't make Tabitha a recurring character - - she is comedy gold and one of the few reasons to watch this mess. Bring back as many of the original Beverly Hills 90210 characters as possible - - and give them valid reasons for being there. Have Brandon visit town. I've heard Donna is returning - - where is David? And how about Steve? What about making Steve's mother Samantha Sanders know Tabitha? As they are both actresses, wouldn't they have met at some point, or at least know each other? And what about Jackie? Can't we follow up with her and her falling off the wagon?

January 8, 2009

For the 479th Time, Brad Did Not Cheat on Jen

These Brad Pitt denials about committing adultery with Angelia Jolie during his marriage to Jennifer Aniston are becoming about as regular as Tom Cruise's denials of homosexuality.

Brad appears on the cover of W magazine, looking beat and old and bringing up the same old shit that's been drudged up over the last four years.

If you care, Brad claims that filming on Mr. and Mrs. Smith had continued after he and Jen broke up and "Even then it doesn't mean that there was some kind of dastardly affair. There wasn't. I'm very proud of the way that it was handled. It was respectful."

Look, Brad. Is it really necessary to bring all this up again? The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is doing very well. I don't think you need the publicity. Are you mad at Jennifer Aniston? Why else do this?

Okay, and besides that . . . you are proud of the way it was handled? Proud of the fact that you were being seen out with another woman while still married to someone else? And who says "dastardly affair"? Did Brad let out a devious laugh after he said that?

It's Time to Take Off the Tin Foil Hats

Photo: demensionszine.com
Seriously. It must be an incredibly slow news week or John Travolta has really pissed a lot of people off because some gossip sites are insinuating there is some kind of devious underhanded cover up going on with Jett's death.

One website is suggesting that the Travoltas have photoshopped and doctored up photographs of Jett that they have released to the press, so that he looks more "normal" and that his jawline resembles his father's. Another finds it suspicious that while the official story was that Jett was going to be buried in Florida and a hearse, ostensibly with a coffin inside, was waiting at the Bahamian airport, Jett was actually being cremated.

First . . . does anyone think the Travoltas doctoring photographs of Jett sounds absolutely ridiculous? Jett wasn't kept locked in a cellar. He was seen out and about with his family, although not with the frequency of Suri Cruise. In fact, he was seen out and about in Paris with his family just two or three weeks ago - - an event that was caught on video as well as photographed. Don't you think if the Travoltas were that uncomfortable over his appearance, they would have kept him hidden?

Second . . . whether the Travoltas choose to bury their son or cremate him is their business. It is none of ours. As to why he would be "secretly" cremated, again, they don't owe us or anyone else an announcement that their child is being cremated. And if they had? The same media that was camped out at the airport, reporting that a hearse allegedly containing Jett's body was there, would have been camped out at the funeral home or crematorium. I don't blame the Travoltas one bit for letting the media think they were returning Jett's body to Florida for burial. Anyone remember what happened with Dana Plato? Photographs of her dead or dying were taken and then sold to a tabloid. Look at what happened to Princess Diana - -photos of her dead or dying were taken and attempted to be sold to tabloids. I am sure the Travoltas did not want to see photographs of Jett splashed across a weekly tabloid with the godawful title of "Jett's Last Picture!"

Let's back off the Travoltas, please, and shine the light where it should be - - on the Church of Scientology.

January 7, 2009

Lisa Marie Presley Shure is Inteligunt

Because the Church of Scientology doesn't know when to keep its mouth firmly shut, the "organization" has now apparently enlisted in Lisa Marie Presley's help to ensure that Scientology is good, Scientology is great, so we really shouldn't hate.

Says Lisa Marie on her MySpace page: (and I didn't alter her post in any way, complete with spelling and grammatical errors)

Now Is Not The Time.

I wished I could be writing you under happier circumstances but I cannot because Two of my very good friends, (John and Kelly Travolta ) the sweetest people in the world have just encountered the worst possible tragedy a parent could be forced to endure, the death of their son Jett.
My heart is crying and bleeding for them.
I personally would not have it in me to bury my own child.
I am writing this because I have noticed that for the most part, people and the media have been very sympathetic and respectful, but there are those certain ones that want to use this horrible tragedy as an opportunity to once again, blame and or attack Scientology?
Folks, as popular as it has been to discriminate and ridicule Scientology and Scientologist's in the recent past , Now is NOT the time.
I realize that there is a lot of mis information out there about the subject which has caused a lot of stone throwing but we are not still in the dark ages and it is still an Unconstitutional Injustice to partake in and encourage such condemnation.
Among most of the crazy made up garbage that goes around about it , It is not true that Scientologist's "Don't believe in " medical care , medicine or medical Doctors and that may have something to do with this terrible tragedy.
Just like anyone else, If one is sick , they go to the doctor, If a medication will make it better then they take it.
If they don't then they are an idiot and you can't blame their religion.
Whatever medical and or physical condition Jett had , I can tell you first hand that his parents were on a tireless, never ending quest to get and provide him with the absolute best care anyone could ever ask for and need, Medically, physically, emotionally, medicinally and spiritually.
I am not writing this to preach my beliefs, I am here to protect my friends.
To the few of you out there that this may apply to,
Let's not use the tragic death of a child to facilitate your insatiable need to attack and destroy Scientology shall we?
John and Kelly have done nothing but spend their lives and their time helping others, making people happy and making peoples lives better.
Please let this family grieve in peace.
PS, I am so sorry it has been such a long time since I have written.
I have just been soaking up the love and the happiness that these two little babies have brought us.
More on that soon.......
Thank you so much for all of your well wishes.
I love and miss you very much.
I'll be in touch.

Wow! Those are some great educational benefits from a tried and true Scientologist. Where do I sign my child up? Who needs proper education when you can get L. Ron Hubbard's idea of skooling? Reeding, riting and rithmatic? All overrated!

I want to know when it became an Unconstitutional Injustice to ridicule Scientologist's? I thought the freedom of speech gave us the right to ridicule whoever we want. If we want to ridicule Scientologists, or rather, Scientologist's, for believing they have alien beings living inside them - - well, heck, that's pretty much placing a target on your back.

And I think "crazy made up garbage" pretty well sums up the Church of Scientology's entire mission statement and belief system. Check out http://www.xenu.net/ and read stories of former members of this "Church" and you will see that Scientologists don't believe in taking certain types of medication and don't believe in certain types of doctors or diagnoses. One of which was autism, which is at the core of some of the debates.

I have no idea what course the Travoltas took or didn't take for Jett - - and really, it isn't any of our business. However, it is a known fact that one of the core tenents of Scientology is that illness only exists in your mind, any "defect" you have brought on yourself, and that psychiatry is a "pseudo-science". Ask Jenna Elfman, devout Scientologist, about AIDS and whether she would like to assist in funding a cure. I bet she will tell you that AIDS is a state of mind. Ask Ellie Perkins what happened when her son was taken off his medication. Oh wait, you can't ask her. She was killed by her son when his medication was removed. Ask Tom Cruise about the history of psychiatry. He'll be happy to tell you what a pseudo-science it is. This is not "made up garbage" - - unless you consider it made up garbage by L. Ron Hubbard.

Lisa Marie needs to stop. She isn't defending her "Two very good friends" so much as her so-called "Church". Look at the title of her post. It doesn't mention Jett's name, or even John and Kelly's. She says "now is not the time" - - not to be critical of John or Kelly, but now is not the time to be critical of Scientology. She devotes more lines to the "injustices" being thrown Scientology's way than over the grief John and Kelly are going through.

January 6, 2009

Here Comes the Damage Control

The Church of Scientology just doesn't get it, do they? Right now, John Travolta and his family, along with their alleged "religion", is under fire due to the supposed beliefs they had and alleged treatment or lack of treatment for Jett. So you would think now might be a good time for the "Church" to zip it up.

Not so fast. Tommy Davis had to open up his fat piehole and state "Scientologists seek conventional medical treatment for medical conditions. Scientologists use prescription drugs when physically ill and also rely on the advice and treatment of medical doctors. The church does not involve itself in the diagnosis or classification of any medical condition."

This is just ridiculous. The "Church"'s poster boy of crazy, Tom Cruise, showed his true, unmedicated self on Matt Lauer so that is a good assumption that Scientologists are dissuaded from taking prescription medication. And good old Tom also felt the need to inform all of America that chemical imbalances don't exist and vitamins and exercise were the answer - -sounds like a diagnosis and course of treatment to me. Never mind the many former members of the Church of Scientology who have told the same tales of being forced off medications, everything from epilepsy meds to insulin to even aspirin. Look at Katie Holmes - - she's in dire need of some Abreva. Guess that's not allowed either.

Naturally, Tommy Davis was asked about Tom Cruise's rantings to Matt Lauer about anti-depressants and Davis replied "That centered around a psychological diagnosis, not a medical diagnosis, there's a distinction."

This guy really isn't sharp, is he? He does realize that psychiatrists are medical doctors, correct? And persons diagnosed with things like ADD or ADHD are done so with a medical diagnosis?

Yes, Tommy Davis is lying through his teeth. But of course, to a Scientologist it's merely an "acceptable truth". With the amount of manure this cult is shoveling, they really should go into the farming business.

UPDATE: Tommy Davis' mother, actress Anne Archer, made the following statement: "John and Kelly never discussed his physical condition with me. I observed that he was significantly mentally handicapped. ... John always communicated to him as if Jett could completely understand him. ... It was a kind of sweet exchange, where he was just happy with anything that Jett offered. Anything."

Whoa. Anne Archer, mother of possible next man in line Tommy Davis, admitting publicly that Jett was significantly mentally handicapped? Knowing the Church of Scientology and their denial of anything that would be considered a "defect", this is mind blowing. I'm sure more will follow in the upcoming days.

January 5, 2009

Jett Travolta 1992-2009

Photo Source: E!Online

This really doesn't qualify as "gossip" - - it's actually the saddest entertainment story since Heath Ledger's death last year.

You'd have to be under a rock to not have heard that John Travolta's 16 year old son Jett died at the family's vacation home in the Bahamas last Friday. Initially the reports stated that Jett suffered a seizure in the bathroom, struck his head and died, possibly en route to the hospital in Freeport.

Sadness all around - - for Jett, for John Travolta and Kelly Preston, for Jett's sister Ella. What really makes my blood boil about this though is the immediate conspiracy theories and accusations that popped up within hours of Jett's passing.

I can wear the tin foil hat too - - I don't think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, I believe in life on other planets and I think the idea that Tom Cruise is a studly heterosexual is one of the biggest mysteries on earth. But to suggest that somehow John and Kelly were responsible, in some part, for their child's death? Come on now!

Forget for just a moment that John and Kelly were Scientologists. They lost their child. At this point, whether Jett suffered from Kawasaki's Syndrome or autism (as has been rumored) is irrelevant.

Jett, may you rest in peace and may your soul be eternal. Your life here was entirely too short. May the Travolta family find peace and consolation during this tragic time.

Photo Source: AFP

January 3, 2009

Best of 2008

Movies! These are the best movies I saw this year (and mostly from 2008).

1. WALL-E. On the surface, this offering from Disney Pixar might seem a child's movie, but it is pure joy for the entire family. WALL-E is the last functioning waste collecting robot on a deserted Earth, who is still busy collecting garbage and recycling it, and keeping company with his energetic pet cockroach, when Eve, a reconnaissance robot sent to find proof of life on Earth, shows up. It's love at first sight, all around.

2. The Dark Knight. Can you really go wrong with Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Eric Roberts and Maggie Gyllenhaal in one movie? The sequel to Batman Begins, this one easily surpasses the first in story, acting and overall entertainment value. Heath Ledger steals the show and every scene he appears in. And the ones he doesn't appear in, you wait anxiously for his return.

3. Twilight. This could have been a cheap knockoff of the best selling book. Instead, director Catherine Hardwicke gave us a faithful and beautiful adaption of Stephenie Meyer's book and created a rabid Robert Pattinson fan club. I anxiously await New Moon.

4. No Country for Old Men. Josh Brolin is a hunter who stumbles upon some dead bodies, a lot of cash and a lot of heroin in Texas. Naturally, he decides to keep it rather than alert the police, which puts Javier Bardem as one of the creepiest killers on record after him. Brolin is fantastic.

5. Iron Man. Robert Downey, Jr. is wealthy Tony Stark who is forced to build an amored suit in a life or death situation and decides to continue its use to fight evil. RDJ is surprisingly perfect for this part.

6. Sense and Sensibility. This mini-series is nearly as good as the Emma Thompson/Kate Winslet version and that says a lot. Jane Austen's tale of sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood and their eventual finding of their well suited husbands.

7. Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Peter takes the breakup of his relationship with tv star girlfriend Sarah very hard - - so he leaves LA on a trip to Hawaii, where he encounters Sarah, her new boyfriend - - rock star Aldous Snow - - and the fun Rachel. This movie is full of laughs and a pleasant surprise.

8. Cranford. Brilliant mini-series, chock full of stunning British actors, Cranford is about the small British village of Cranford, and the goings-on of its townfolk. Judi Dench is wonderful.

9. Sex and the City. I had doubted this former t.v. series could be brought to the screen satisfyingly. I was wrong. Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte return, five years later - - and the ladies are exactly where they should be. Carrie and Big are contemplating marriage, Samantha has left New York to join Smith in L.A., Miranda and Steve are contemplating divorce and Charlotte and Harry are happy parents. Jennifer Hudson is a welcome addition as Carrie's personal assistant.

10. Flawless. This little seen gem has Michael Caine and Demi Moore planning a heist in London in the 1960s. Flawless doesn't move quickly, but it is a solid, well acted little film.

January 2, 2009

Best of 2008

Books! These are the best books I read in 2008 - - although not necessarily published in 2008. Enjoy!

1. The Twilight series. Yes, I fell victim to the Twilight-ization. Heard about the books, didn't care and wondered what all the fuss was. Decided to break down and request Twilight at my local library. Was on the wait list for something like SIX MONTHS before I gave up and bought my own copy. Devoured it and understood the obsession. Tore through New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn just as quickly and even joined a Twilight fan board. It's crazy, I know. Can't wait for the DVD to come out to add to my collection.

2. Hollywood Car Wash. This was the best beach read imagineable. It certainly doesn't hurt that the main character Star Spencer (formerly Amy Spencer) was allegedly based on the Idiot Corpse Bride herself, Katie Holmes. Hollywood Car Wash is a quick, easy read, filled with just enough gossipy-type smut that it makes for fun reading, but without getting a Jackie Collins-esque feeling. Best comparison between the fictional Star Spencer and Katie Holmes? The "arranaged" relationship between Star and closeted film actor Brad Rockwell, with the media gifting them the moniker of "RockStar". Hmmm, sound familiar, TomKat?

3. The Boleyn Inheritance. I really enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl when I read it and while anxious to read the follow up, I guessed that it wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable as its predecessor. Wrong. While The Boleyn Inheritance covers less time overall than The Other Boleyn Girl, it moves even more smoothly than Girl and the characters seem more fleshed out and compassionate. Even knowing the outcome beforehand doesn't spoil this retelling of Henry VIII with two of his wives (Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard) and Jane Boleyn, former sister-in-law of Henry's late wife, Anne Boleyn.

4. Heartsick. Quite possibly one of the best mystery/thriller genre debuts of all time. Archie Sheridan is a Portland cop who is deeply flawed - - mainly due to his brush with death with the Beauty Queen Killer, the psychotic Gretchen Lowell, who still has a dysfunctional and creepy bond with Archie. A new serial killer is striking Portland and Archie is trying to solve the case, with the help of punkish newspaper reporter Susan Ward - - as well as his tormentor, Gretchen Lowell. Fascinating, fascinating book that you can't put down.

5. Sweetheart. The sequel to Heartsick, while not as good as its stellar predecessor, is still a good, solid read. Archie Sheridan returns, along with Susan Ward, to hunt down Gretchen Lowell, who has escaped from prison. Will Gretchen get away? Will she resume her killing spree? Will she come after Archie?

6. Hold Tight. My first book by Harlan Coben, it won't be my last. Hold Tight is the story of Mike and Tia Baye, who decide to put spyware software on their teenage son's computer after a friend commits suicide - - and find out information they would have preferred not to know. Throw in a sadistic killer with two seemingly unrelated murders around the same time and Hold Tight becomes a fast-paced, addictive read.

7. Wild Boy. Wild Boy is guitarist Andy Taylor's autobiography of life pre and post Duran Duran. If you're a fan of the Eighties' Fab Five (and I most certainly was and am),this is a fascinating read of how the band was formed and how, at the height of their fame, the group was already imploding from differing personalities, the pressure of overnight success and fame, alcohol and drugs.

8. Here's the Story. If you saw my earlier review of this book, you will know that I gave it an enthusiastic "thumbs up"! Maureen McCormick provides a brutally honest recollection of her life, from her birth into an already troubled and dysfunctional marriage and family, to becoming "the perfect teenager" Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch, to attempting to become an adult actor in Hollywood and adapt to post Marcia Brady life. Along the way, McCormick developed an eating disorder, poor self esteem, a serious cocaine problem and fear of a possibly genetic mental disease. Here's the Story isn't happy reading by any means but McCormick's brave retelling should garner her a new respect.

9. Pride and Prejudice. Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat because I read Pride and Prejudice ever year. However, this book continues to remain my favorite Jane Austen work and one of my favorite books overall. Whether it's your first read, or your fiftieth, P and P remains a fresh, witty and charming look at life in England during the early 1800s. Mrs. Bennet is in a constant dither over getting her five daughters married off and married well. Oldest daughter Jane is the beauty and a quiet, introspective type. Second daughter Elizabeth is feisty and outspoken. Daughter Mary prefers a good book to any male company. Youngest daughters Kitty and Lydia are silly and flirty. When Mr. Bingley lets nearby Netherfield Hall, and brings along good friend Mr. Darcy, it seems the Bennet family's fortunes may be changing. One of the greatest works of British literature.

Images courtesy of the Mother Ship (i.e., Barnes & Noble)

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

As we usher in 2009, here is a (belated) list of my favorite holidays films to enjoy over the weekend.
1. It's a Wonderful Life (1947). What list would be complete without this classic? James Stewart is perfect as the quintessential American, George Bailey, who is given the opportunity to see what life in charming Bedford Falls would have been like had he never been born. Stewart himself cited George Bailey as his favorite role - - and with good reason. This is a must see.
2. A Christmas Story (1983). If Life is the classic "serious" Christmas movie, Story is the comedic chestnut. It's the 1940s and Ralphie wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. In the days leading up to Christmas, Ralphie must run from the town bully, deal with his friend getting his tongue stuck to a flagpole, glory in his Old Man's "win" of a lamp in the shape of a lady's leg, utter the dreaded "F" word in front of his Old Man, see the neighborhood dogs descend on his house and steal the family Christmas turkey and be forced to wear a fluffy pink rabbit suit. Good times for all!
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966). The supreme Christmas cartoon, Grinch is about a bitter, hateful Grinch (duh) who cannot stand the thought of the nearby village of Whoville happily celebrating Christmas and decides to raid the village, dressed as Santa Claus, to steal their holiday cheer. Boris Karloff (famous for his Frankenstein role in the 30s) narrates this classic.
4. Die Hard (1988). While this film may seem misplaced at first, it does take place during Christmas. Die Hard is the perfect film for those of you who don't care for the sentimental, heartfelt, emotion-tugging films like It's a Wonderful Life. Bruce Willis is cop John McClane, who has a phenomenal run in with a few terrorists, led by Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, atop the Nakatomi Plaza in L.A.
5. Gremlins (1984). If you like adventure for Christmas but would rather pass on machine guns and terrorists, look no further than Gremlins. Billy gets a new pet as a gift from his father, a Mogwai he names Gizmo. Unfortunately, he disobeys the rules that come with owning a Mogwai, and his town of Kingston Falls is beset by vicious little green monsters, hell bent on destroying Kingston Falls and its citizens.
6. The Santa Clause (1994). Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, the man who inadvertently causes Santa's demise and must step into the jolly red suit and boots. Scott's son Charlie is delighted with his dad's new job, although it creates problems with Charlie's mom and new husband, as well as with Scott's employer.
7. Fred Claus (2007). Fred Claus is the story of Nicholas Claus (who becomes Santa Claus), as played by Paul Giomatti, and his older, underachieving brother, Fred, as played by Vince Vaughn. When Santa is forced into an audit by an efficiency expert, he needs for Fred to move to the North Pole to help him out. What will happen when Fred must review charts and determine what children have been naughty and what children have been nice? What if Santa is fired?
8. Love Actually (2003). Great ensemble movie about eight couples, taking place in England and France, in the several weeks leading up to Christmas. The stories show the silly, serious and foolish sides to love. A great film to watch with the one you love.
9. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Tim Burton's animated classic about Jack Skellington, who lives in Halloweentown and is in charge of turning out a scary Halloween each year. Jack, however, has become bored with his duties and wanders off into the forest, to choose a new holiday. He learns of Christmas and decides Halloweentown will take over the Christmas holiday.
10. Bad Santa (2003). The Christmas movie for adults, Bad Santa has Billy Bob Thornton as a conman who poses as Santa, along with help from a friend, in order to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. Leave it up to an 8 year old to teach them the true meaning of Christmas.
11. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989). The third in the Griswold family trilogy and arguably better than the European Vacation, this installment finds the hapless Clark planning on a big family Christmas and running into the usual hijinks.